The choice before Lakewood this November is simple: for or against a deal closing our hospital.

The first and only direct public vote on closing Lakewood Hospital will be on this fall’s ballot as Issue 64. Unlike the proposed charter change in 2015, this referendum is a straightforward citizens’ vote on the ordinance closing Lakewood Hospital: for or against.

This referendum is the work of everyday people who love Lakewood. After a lame-duck-led council held a rushed vote days before Christmas, citizens filed a formal petition for repeal and began gathering signatures. The results were a confirmation that council’s choice was not that of Lakewood’s people; despite severe winter weather, petitioners obtained nearly 3,500 signatures in just three weeks.

This fall, all of Lakewood’s voters will have their say, and the results will matter immensely. A vote for Issue 64 would be reported as an endorsement of council, the Clinic, and all of their actions to steer Lakewood away from better opportunities.

When Lakewood votes against 64, however, it will confirm once and for all: we can do better. And we will.